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WWE talent believes AEW is not offering big contracts because of budget issues

All Elite Wrestling

All Elite Wrestling

Dave Meltzer has a long write-up on the Cody and Brandi Rhodes exit from AEW. Meltzer pointed out that Cody had a two-year option on his contract that was not picked up for some reason. The two-year option was picked up in the contracts for Chris Jericho and The Young Bucks.

Within WWE among some of the talent, there was a feeling that there was a budget issue with AEW. Meltzer stated that two WWE names who were both great workers had their deals coming up and there was interest in them from AEW. One of those names was Kevin Owens and the other was someone else (not Sami Zayn) whose contract situation has not been public.

It was said that AEW did not make a play for them, although Owens signed a new deal before his WWE contract expired. The word from people in WWE is that AEW has a talent budget and they would not match WWE's high offers unless or until they got a higher paying TV deal. Their current TV deal runs until the start of 2024.

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Tony Khan has also talked about signing more new talent. Keith Lee recently started and Jeff Hardy is expected to sign after his WWE non-compete. Buddy Matthews (formerly Buddy Murphy) is also expected to sign soon.